How involved are you as a parent in your child’s lifestyle choices? This question should really make you think, especially if your child has a unhealthy lifestyle and is or on the brink of being obese.
A study has found that being actively involved in your kid’s life and engaging with them on a one-o-one basis, helps promote a healthy lifestyle and determines reduction in the risk of obesity.
“The study shows that simple encouragement is not enough — active parental support is essential,” said Heather Manson, chief of health promotion (chronic disease and injury prevention) at Public Health Ontario (PHO), in Canada.
Since obesity in childhood lays a foundation for numerous health problems later in life, the likes of cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes, cancer in adulthood, and ultimately an increased risk of premature mortality, it is important to guide them in the right direction from the very beginning – the support only a parent can provide.
Improving parent support behaviors could be effective in mitigating the burden of excess body weight in childhood, the researchers said.
The findings showed that children whose parents took them to parks, playgrounds or sports programs were twice as likely to be physically active.
Further, children whose parents served raw fruits and vegetables as snacks between meals were almost five times more likely to develop healthy eating behavior.
The study also found that children were more likely to develop sedentary behaviors if families watch TV together or if there were several TVs in the house, the researchers concluded, in the paper appearing in the journal BMC Public Health.